Starting a new business can be very rewarding, but also gives the potential entrepreneur lots to think about. Here are 10 business tips to help the new business manager get off on the right foot.
1. Write a plan. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Any plan should include a financial plan, sales and marketing plan, and resource plan as a minimum. For a free business plan guide click here.
2. Set your self targets, whether it be sales, profit, number of customers or to achieve a task by a specific date. Write them down and review them regularly. It is widely recognised that those people who document targets and review them, are more successful than those who don’t.
3. Find an accountant early in your setup process. They can advise what start up costs can be offset against first years profits, how to maximise tax deductions and may be able to point you in the direction of additional funding.
4. Do your bookkeeping timely and accurately. The longer you leave it the harder it becomes. Be consistent in where you post transactions, and keep receipts! Save accountancy fees by having your accounts in a position where you don’t just hand a bag of receipts to your accountant at year end!
5. Understand your competition but don’t worry about them too much. Focus on your own business and what you should be doing. Don’t be distracted by the other guys.
6. Make sure you understand what your unique selling propositions are. What makes you different and why will people buy from you. Make sure that this is reflected in all your marketing material.
7. Build a complete team, not just those people who will help in the day to day running of the business, but people who can advise, mentor and coach. Seek people with experience who can be employed on a part time or consultancy basis.
8. Find good customers. Finding bad customers is much easier but they will quickly ruin your business, waste your time, not pay bills and exploit your goodwill for their own purposes. Recognise these customers quickly and retire them. Don’t spend time on these customers when you should be using that time to attract the good customers.
9. Gain productivity by using technology. There are millions of tools and apps available for little or no cost on the internet. A little time spent looking for them could reap dividends in productivity longer term.
10. Have fun! Running your own business can be very challenging but offers a degree of freedom not found in general employment. Plan some leisure/social time into your schedule and ensure you have time for recharging batteries and for reading other business tips pages!